Optus has been slapped with a fine for misleading customers following the issue of five infringement notices by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The ACCC has found Optus contravened consumer law by claiming its cable broadband service delivered ‘NBN-like’ speeds.
An investigation revealed Optus’ plans either fell short of NBN-like download or upload speeds. Customers who signed up to an Optus broadband plan during the period can cancel their contracts as a result at no cost, as well as have any start-up fees refunded.
Advertised was an Optus broadband plan with download/upload speeds of 30/2 Megabits per second (Mbps). Higher plans were available with a 100Mbps download speed; however, uploads were a paltry 2Mbps.
A variety of NBN plans are available, including those with download/upload speeds of 50/20 and 100/40 megabits per second
Broadband companies will be held responsible for failing to accurately advertise available Internet speeds, said Rod Sims, Chairman of the ACCC.
“As consumers migrate to the NBN, the ACCC’s action in this matter is a timely reminder to broadband internet providers that they must not misrepresent the performance of the services they are selling.
“The ACCC will continue to closely monitor the market for false or misleading claims about internet performance and will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action if necessary.”
Optus has since been fined $51,000 for making the claim, agreed not to use the term ‘NBN-like speeds’ unless it is accurate and will be subject to a third-party review of its trade practices compliance program.